Windows

So it’s time for a paradigm shift in the world of computers

So it’s time for a paradigm shift in the world of computers. In the past I’ve worked for companies that were Microsoft partners, that were Microsoft centric and some that were a mix. A previous web company did a lot of their dev work on Unix machines and even hosted sites on Unix servers, but they had a heavy mix of Windows machines and most of the desktops were Windows machines.

Recently, I switched over to a new company and for the first time in my career, I’ll be exclusively using a Mac. They embrace Open Source and over the years have shifted further and further away from MS products. Today I was given a new MacBook Pro and it’s the only machine I’ll get. It’s the same type of machine everyone else in the office has. The only difference is some are MacBook Air while others are iMac computers. Oh my goodness, this is incredibly different for me. I’ve used Macs in the past, but never as the sole workstation. I have to admit, I feel out of my element.

There is no semblance of Windows here. No Windows workstations, no Exchange Server for email and no AD.

The first order of business is to get used to this environment. I’ve wanted to get a Mac for the longest time and now I’m fully committed. The UI is a bit foreign to me and I’m having a bit of trouble getting around. The main thing I struggle with is where programs are installed. Just where do they go? I know there is no drive concept and it’s all part of the root, but it takes some getting used to.

Another issue is program selection. Some of the tools I’ve come to love and rely on aren’t available anymore. OneNote for Mac is vastly different. Why the devil can’t I save files locally?

I already miss DisplayFusion and ClipboardFusion. Oddly, I sort of miss Outlook as well. I’ve moved over to use the built in Mail client for OSX. It seems decent, but oh my goodness, does it look and feel different.

I also have to get used to the different keystrokes. There is a Control key, but it work the same way. That Command key will be my new friend. Where the devil is PgUp and PgDn?

What the hell is up with this Magic Mouse? This thing is weird!

This is going to be an interesting journey, not only because it’s a new company and a new roll, but going All-In on a Mac. No safety net, no way to jump over to Windows if this doesn’t work out. I have the Mac and that’s all there is to it. I have to make this work. I assume since everyone else here works this way I can adjust, might be a few bumps in the road for me as I change my way of thinking and doing.

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Why does iOS7 look so damn ugly?

I’m a little distressed by this emerging trend of how operating systems look. Regardless of the feature set for iOS7, at first glance, it’s visually very unappealing. It looks like Apple took some design cues from Microsoft and decided a flat and dull UI is what users want.

I’ve said it before, I think Windows 8 is an incredibly ugly looking OS. It’s flat, dull, rigid and the pastel colors are utterly annoying. Microsoft and others spent years developing an interface that had depth, rich color and smooth textures. With Windows 7 we were treating to a glassy style UI with a really nice 3D look to it. We had curves and depth and neat rounded edges. Now all of that is gone and Apple has done the same thing.

I’ve always thought Apple lead the way in UI design. They always had these really neat icons that leapt out at you. They were bright and colorful with roundness and texture. I already miss those days. The Apple launchpad was so cool and when Stardock emulated it with their ObjectDock launcher it became a staple of how I launched applications. Even the Wincustomize community cranked out beautiful icons, sleek and stylish taskbars and interesting designs for the minimize and maximize buttons.

Now that Apple has crumbled and thrown out this gaudy new iOS, I fear the days of taking your time and making a stylish OS are gone. Apple was the leader in design and now they’ve thrown in the towel and accepted this horrible minimalist idea.

Not everything has to be eye candy, but seriously, do we really have to put up with this new style? Windows is ugly. iOS is ugly. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. We have more computing power than we’ve ever had before. We have faster graphics processing than we’ve ever had before. Now we have the most bland and boring OS than we’ve ever had before.

It makes me sad.

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Free Copy of O&O DriveLED for Easter, plus a coupon

O&O Software has an Easter Egg on their site that gives you a free license to O&O DriveLED v4.0. Since it’s an Easter Egg you have to go searching for it. But where to start? Actually, it’s not that hard. Let your fingers do the walking and let the site help you out. Maybe you could do a search for "Easter Egg" and see what comes back.

While you’re out there you can use the coupon code "EASTER2012" to save 30% off anything in the online store. Not a bad deal.

Shop the O&O Online Store

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Copy files faster with TeraCopy

TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed, providing the user with a lot of features:

  • Copy files faster. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.
  • Pause and resume file transfers. Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.
  • Error recovery. In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skip the file, not terminating the entire transfer.
  • Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.
  • Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.
  • Full Unicode support.
  • Windows 7 x64 support.

I’ve been using TeraCopy for over a month now and it has made one hell of a different. Even though it isn’t multithreaded it’s far superior to the copy utility that’s included in Windows. You can pause and restart a copy, you can see the actual throughput of your copy, you can queue up multiple events, it has a much better display of how big the files are in total, size of the current file and how long the process will take. And it’s a free app. Something like this should have been included in Windows itself. If you need to copy a lot of files or you just want to do it better this is the app to get.

Download TeraCopy

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I regret updating to Powerdesk 8

There is something really flakey about this app. I’m not sure if this a bug or some incompatibility with Windows 7, but when I delete folders the listing stays in the window and when I try to delete it again I get a permissions error. The problem is, the folder really was deleted Powerdesk just didn’t update. In the past week or so this has happened dozens of times on two of my machines.

If I close Powerdesk down and then restart it, the folder is magically removed from the list. I just can’t work like this. I’m switching back to Powerdesk 7. But why use a 3rd party file manager at all? Simply put I can’t stand the explorer that comes with Windows. It’s useless to me. I’ve been using Powerdesk for years and love it, but Powerdesk 8 needs to go back in the over and finish cooking, it’s broken all to hell.

I really like Directory Opus as well, but the ridiculously high price and endless nagging made me delete it. You’ve got to be joking by charging $60 for a file manager app for Windows. No thanks, I don’t feel like being ripped off today.

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